Pet SafetyA trip to the spa typically involves a scent of some kind that decreases stress, such as almond, eucalyptus, clove, peppermint, pine, tea tree, and ylang-ylang. Often mixed with vitamin E oil and massaged into the skin, these scents trigger certain responses through our olfactory receptors, brain, and nervous system. While these products, known as essential oils, are gaining in popularity, they can also threaten pet safety and health.

Isn’t it Ironic?

Essential oils can certainly benefit humans, but they can endanger many pets. Extracted from plants, essential oils are applied and used in various ways that trigger different reactions in animals.

Inhaling essential oils can threaten pet safety (through a passive reed diffuser, for example), but equally dangerous is applying the oil directly to the skin. This can happen after handling the oils and then touching your cat, dog, bird, ferret, rabbit, rodent, or reptile. In turn, they self groom and ingest the oils. If you have these products around the home, be sure to do the following:

  • Make sure your pet cannot access them accidentally
  • Store the oils behind a closed door
  • Always wash your hands before touching your pet


When essential oils are mixed with water and then diffused into the air, the house is guaranteed to smell great (and maybe that cold or headache will finally go away). However, when your pet breathes in the oil, they’re exposed to high levels of toxins.

If you’re looking to experience the benefits of essential oils, look into different diffusion methods that won’t expose your pet to harm. Diluting essential oils can add to pet safety, but it may be best to simply use them in areas your pet doesn’t frequent.

Pet Safety at Home

Many people attest to the virtues of essential oils, but before you use them at home, we urge you to make an appointment with us. While many oils aren’t toxic to animals, some are and should always be avoided.

Toxic Build Up

Cats metabolize toxins differently than dogs or humans. Because their livers lack an enzyme that helps eliminate toxins effectively, they’re more susceptible to a poisoning. However, all pets can exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Unsteadiness
  • Low heart rate
  • Low body temperature

Knowing what’s normal for your pet will help you quickly determine if you have a pet emergency on your hands. As always, please let us know if you have any questions about pet safety, poisonings, or treatments. The Pet Experts are always here for you!